All of our discontents for what we want appear to me to spring from want of thankfulness for what we have.
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
I decided recently that I was in a rut, spending too much time in familiar territory. I’m an Aries, and we don’t fall into this trap easily nor do we tolerate it for long. I think financial difficulties combined with healing from injuries kept me focused on issues in front of my face. The financial problems are still here, but they’ve relaxed somewhat, and some of the injuries have resolved and others are resolving. I’ve been feeling like something indefinable has shifted in me.
So, I decided to make an effort to broaden my horizons a bit, to read new authors and hike new trails. I decided to read Robinson Crusoe, because it’s been on my list forever and I’ve never gotten around to it.
What’s ironic is that the story opens with a warning against adventure. The protagonist is a young man from comfortable circumstances who decides he wants to see the world and seek novel experiences. His father emphatically tells him “not to play the young man, nor to precipitate myself into miseries which nature and the station of life I was born in, seemed to have provided against…”
Well, that’s Robinson Crusoe. I’ll see when I finish the book if he remains repentant for submitting to his restive nature. Meanwhile, I drove some distance yesterday to a mountain I haven’t hiked before. It took some time to get there, because sitting in a car is uncomfortable for me and I had to make a few stops. Also, I ran into a lot of road construction and that slowed my journey. It wasn’t the best day for a hike because the area had been deluged with rain the day before and the trail was swampy and the rocks slippery. I don’t have pictures, because I wasn’t aware that I was on top of the mountain when I got there; I arrived so quickly at the height of land that I didn’t think I was there and continued along the loop trail. For all that, I enjoyed the hike and would like to return on a drier day. I returned with a new appreciation for the beauty of the trails in my own backyard and a realization that their difficulty has made me a strong hiker.